Can y could

Ahora, vamos a elaborar sobre dos verbos modales muy parecidos: can y could (Nótese que, los verbos modales, jamás van seguidos por ‘to’ antes del infinitivo, a salvo de ought toneed to  dare to).

Se usa can y could para hablar sobre habilidad, tanto en general como una habilidad expresada en presente

  • I can run faster than you.
  • When I was eight I could go out a lot.. (‘Could’ funciona como el pasado de ‘can’ además de tener su propio significado.).
  • He can do whatevery he feels like doing.
  • They can speak English very well.

Se usa could para hablar sobre el pasado cuando se refiere a algo que ocurrió solo una vez

  • When Jane was young she could wake up very in the morning. Now she can’t.
  • Last weekend we could hear your noise. Please stop being so noisy.
  • When I was younger I could do many sports, now I’m too lazy.

Solemos utilizar la forma ‘be able to’ para expresar habilidad y capacidad en el futuro

  • By next week, I’ll be able to drive again.
  • She’ll be able to have more leverage.
  • I’m able to fix things.
  • Joseph is able to cook.

Se usa can y could para expresar probabilidad y posibilidad

  • Real Madrid could win this Saturday, but I’m not so sure.
  • My flight could be delayed this Friday.
  • I don’t know if you can here, I’ll have to talk to my partner.
  • It’s possible that our big boss could be coming this week to check our progress.

Se usa can y could para usos interpersonales, tal como solicitar, preguntar, permiso etc.

  • Could you show me the right way to go?
  • Can I help you, sir?
  • You cannot arrive late!
  • Could you ask Sandra for her opinion, please.
  • Could we just speak for a minute?

Usamos can y could para expresar habilidad o percepción con verbos como see, taste, feel, hear, smell etc.

  • Last weekend, I couldn’t understand what the speaker was saying.
  • It seems that I can walk just fine now.
  • Julie can foresee the future.
  • We could understand perfectly.
  • I can’t hear you, I’m sorry.

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